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About Fahrenheit 451 Essay

1278 words - 5 pages

Fahrenheit 451, is a science fiction novel that written and published by Ray Bradbury in 1953. The concept for the novel began with the 1947 as a short story "Bright Phoenix" that was latter published in the Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction in 1963. A movie version of the novel was released in 1966, and a second version is said to begin filming in 2008 (Gioia). The novel shows a future American society in which the people have "dumb themselves down", to the point where education and reading mean nothing. The number "451" refers to the Fahrenheit temperature at which a book or paper ignites and burns. Bradbury has stated that the novel is not about "dumbing down" society; he states that Fahrenheit 451 is a story about how television destroys people's interest in reading. Bradbury has also stated that most of his novel was written in UCLA's Powell library on a pay typewriter.In the future anti intellectual Americas have completely abandoned self control, and filled the streets with lawlessness. From teenagers crashing their cars into people, to firemen who set their mechanical hound to hunt various animals for the simple pleasure of watching them die. In this society anyone caught reading a book is, at the minimum, confined to a mental hospital while the books are burned. Illegal books mainly include famous works of literature, such as Whitman and Faulkner, as well as The Bible, and all historical texts. One night returning from his job, the main character Guy Montag meets his new neighbor Clarisse McClellan, whose ideals and liberating spirit force him to question his life, his ideals, and his own happiness and love. Later in the book it is said that Clarisse had been killed in a car accident. After meeting Clarisse, he returns home to find his wife Mildred asleep, with an empty bottle of sleeping pills next to her bed. He calls for medical help, and two technicians come and proceed to suck out Mildred's blood and insert new blood into her. The technicians disregard for Mildred forces Montag to question the state of the society. In the following days, while guy was working as a fireman whose job is to burn books, takes one after he accidentally reads a line form a book: "Time has fallen asleep in the afternoon sunshine" (Bradbury). This makes him steal one of the books. Montag calls in sick, and his fire chief Captain Beatty comes and explains to him the political and social reason for their job. Beatty adds that all firemen steal a book out of curiosity, and that all would be well if the book is turned in within 24 hours. Soon Montag has hidden dozens of books in the ventilation shafts of his own house and needs someone to help him memorize them. He remembers a man he had met at one time: Faber, a former English professor. Faber begins teaching Montag that the overall importance of literature in its attempt to explain human existence. Faber also gives Montag a green bullet-shaped ear-piece so he can offer guidance throughout guy's day....

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